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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A cleaning the scent glands?

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    • poopy
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      BB, I looked at your information on the site on how to do it, but I couldn’t find my rabbits scent glands and personally I get squeamish poking around that area. What happens if you just never clean it out?


    • Gravehearted
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      not cleaning them will cause a build up that can clog the gland and can lead to infection. they should be checked on a regular basis and if your bunny get a skunky kind of smell – it’s definately time to clean them.

      The glands are on either side of the anus. The rabbit may have to be turned on its back to clean them. Keep one hand pressed firmly on the stomach so that he/she cannot suddenly flip over and injure their back. Use your fingers to find the genitals and then to separate the area directly adjacent to the genitals. When you find the scent glands and separate the overlapping skin, the dark substance will become visible.

      Sometimes you’ll find just a few moist flakes from dried skin, but more often you’ll find a very dark brown, hard, waxy type of build-up. Either of these can be easily removed with a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide.


    • skunklionshow
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      I highly suggest reviewing this w/ your vet.  I have too much experience w/ this and my cats.  Depending on the animal, it can be difficult to squeeze this area correctly.  One of my cats has very thick discharge and another leaks on his own accord.  Most animals release this area on their own, via bowel movements or anal cleaning.  W/ most mammals you can tell it needs to be squeezed if the animal scoots or has problems w/ constipation.  I was under the impression that w/ vegetarian mammals, this is not a huge issue/problem.

      Sometimes the glands can become impacted…but usually you notice these other behaviors b/f that happens.


    • BinkyBunny
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      I just need to make sure to clarify that cleaning cats anal glands is different than rabbits.  No squeezing is required,  You open the slits and wipe out the discharge with a Q-tip.

      Gravehearted gave some great advice.  Depending on the rabbit, some bunnies need their anal glands cleaned more often then others.  But, like Gravehearted stated – the waxy build up can clog the glands which can cause infection, I recently asked several rabbit savvy vets about this!  They also said that the discharge can get rock hard, and can get uncomfortable for the bunny.   There’s no reason to wait for it to get that bad before noticing.

      And even if it doesn’t get serious. WHEW…you can get one smelly bunny.   It’s always a good idea to check once a month until you have a good idea of how often your bunny’s glands need  cleaning.   Some need it every month, some only once a year. 

       


    • poopy
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      Ack I keep poking around that area and can’t find them Plus it makes me really nervous I hate poking around animal’s butts. Should I just stick a Q tip in the area next to the anus and see if thats the gland?


    • BinkyBunny
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      They are not easy to find the first time you are looking for them.  They are on either side of the genital mound.  Let’s see how I can best describe this.  

      • There is the genital mound where you’ll see the genitals and the anus. 
      • You will notice a basic separation between the  anus and the genitals. 
      • If you follow that separation down the outer sides of the mound, you should be able to find the slits.
      • They are always closed and so the fur covers them, so you actually have to gently open them.  JOY!

      Let me know if this helped you at all!  If it did, maybe I’ll post these more detailed instructions in the monthly maintenance guide to help others.


    • LillyBear
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      i know this may be creepy… but is there any way you can post a PICTURE of where you are talking about… i mean… my bunny has one ‘hole’ on her lower stomach… but there is not another hole.. i think the other one is under her tail? So.. I think the one on her stomach would be the vagina… but there are no flaps… its really just a hole… eep. help please?


    • skunklionshow
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      Please check out my post:  Scent glands 4 Dummies

      I gave a real lame man’s perspective for you.


    • LillyBear
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      i looked at that. i think i am dumb 😮


    • skunklionshow
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      Amanda….I’m sure you’re not dumb…

      I’m confidant that you found her vagina hole.  The flaps do not look like human vaginal mounds or lips.  They are very subtle folds that almost look like the folds in skin where the hip and leg joint come together.  Just gentle spread these folds.

      Again, they are subtle….so you might just be thinking that’s where the leg and hip come together.  Also, its easier if someone else is holding the bunny.

      Good Luck!


    • LillyBear
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      Thanks! I found it! haha. I felt bad pulling on my poor bunny haha but she didn’t seem to mind.. she just layed in my arm and didn’t even move!


    • Gravehearted
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      I’m glad you were able to find the glands!


    • poopy
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      I found them too! The smell made me nauseous…


    • BinkyBunny
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      Congratulations LillyBear and Poopy. I know it can really be difficult to find them. And WHEW, they are stinky. I know I have to hold my breath. Very Skunky!


    • poopy
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      Question- Medusa had some black stuff (looked exactly like ground instant coffee or kinda like dirt). Is that normal? If its not I wonder if its dirt that got stuck in there because she used to live out in a backyard before she was rescued.


    • BinkyBunny
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      If her scent glands have never been cleaned out, then it wouldn’t be unusual for it to be full of dirt too. (especially if she was digging around in someone backyard)

      Normally the stuff looks more brown like ear wax, but i have seen some bunnies who have it lighter and darker.  Was it hard? Goopy? 

      Eyech.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A cleaning the scent glands?